The last day of the year is not my favorite, 16 years ago my father passed away from cancer and what used to be one of the most fun days of the year is now a bit somber.
I look back at 2022 and think of how proud he would be of where I am right now.
Sundays in the Shelton household normally consisted of two things- Fishing in the morning and nascar naps (ideal sport to take naps during btw) in the afternoon.
My Dad got out of the Navy and went to work in the oil field for a few years before getting a job as a Southwestern Bell Lineman. He got laid off when I was in kindergarten and Started Billy Shelton Telephone Service where he would take me along to learn the ropes. Climbing ladders and punching down jacks is something I have been doing since I was 11 and it's the reason I am where I am today. As I reflect on one of the last conversations I had with him, I think about my decision to withdraw from Full Sail University, where I was going to chase my dream of becoming a music producer. I told him I was going to learn how to be one of those guys in the corner office that cuts our checks and drives a corvette (Network Engineer/CIO) That decision was life-changing because it kickstarted my career in tech about 16 years ago. Without that degree, I would not have been able to get on at Verizon which led to GM, Splunk etc... Ill write about my path later this year but lets skip to January 2022. It started with one of the coolest work trips imaginable, where I found myself running a few laps at limestone in TRD's simulator and touring Joe Gibbs Racing. That Trip would eventually lead to a dream of mine to work in professional sports.
For this kid that's been going to Texas Motor Speedway almost his entire life(Doc martins and JNCOS included), this was a dream come true. I remember flying back from that trip thinking DAMN, I made it dad. Little did I know that I'd be calling that place work now.
How it started
How it is going
Making the Decision to leave AWS was very difficult, I loved the team I worked with and was on track to be promoted to manager by the end of 2022. But, sometimes stars allign and at that time I knew that I would regret the opportunity had I not jumpe. I believe that decisions are made for a reason so always focus on moving forward, not in reverse. I bet on myself and I encourage everyone to do the same. Was I scared about starting all over? absolutely! But TRD has made the onboarding/indoctrination process easy and it is great not being on call for the first time in 15 years.
2022 Cool Trips
Toyota/AWS Charlotte Trip
2022 Amazon HQ with fellow Toyota TAMS
Soup dumpling at din tai fung- THE BEST
Re:invent2022 trd Team in Launch Darkly booth
best view on the strip
2022 Goal review
My biggest goal in 2022 was to write more because at that time I owned the famous 6-page Amazon Narrative/Support Account Plan. I knew I had to get better at telling a story and asking for things, which is what these narratives are. Bezos believed the narrative structure is more effective than PowerPoint. Memos strive for high-quality discussions, whereas Slideshows do not which I 100% agree with. Writing organizes your thoughts, allows you to gather details and come up with a clear ask. I took this format with me and was able to successfully convince my leadership to use a tool of choice. I did not have to waste time as I did my homework and gave my managers clear data which backed my ask. I also have recently started journaling at night which has been a cheat code for sleeping better. I can dump all of my thoughts out on paper, pull my mind to a state of gratitude, and get a head start on tomorrow. Good days start and end with writing and so I want to keep this going in 2023.
I challenge everyone to write more, it's a superpower and a saw that always needs to be sharpened.
I also had a goal of 4 Triathlons which I did not hit. I did 2 and qualified for the City meet but injured my foot in jamaica stepping on a sea shell and could not participate. This year I still plan on doing 4 and also am contemplating doing an 70.3 half ironman. We shall see
Goals are a sign that you wish to do better which is seeking more happiness. I hope that everyone continues to seek more happiness and grow as if you arent growing that means you are dead! Cheers to 2023 yall!